Arklow RNLI rescues three people from sunken canoe

Lifeboats News Release

Following an alert by members of the public, Arklow RNLI was launched to reports of 3 people in the water and in need of immediate assistance on Friday, 26 June.


Arklow RNLI

Following the pager alert at 4.05pm, the volunteer lifeboat crew responded within minutes and proceeded to launch the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr.

Members of the public had contacted some of the crew and the Irish Coast Guard to alert them that there were 3 people in the water who were in need of rescue.

Once underway, the Coastguard made contact with the lifeboat and relayed co-ordinates to commence a search for the casualties.

Some of the crew members had also proceeded along the shoreline to the location which was just off the end of a nearby breakwater at the Roadstone Quarry.

The lifeboat arrived on scene within minutes and between the spotters on shore, the members of the public and all of the crew, the three casualties were quickly located in the water. One person was near the beach, one was approximately 200m offshore and the final casualty was approximately 500m offshore. With the tide ebbing at the time, there was significant risk of the casualties being dragged further out to sea.

One person managed to make his way to shore and the other two were taken aboard the lifeboat. They were assessed by the lifeboat crew. All were suffering from the effects of being immersed in cold water for a period and were tired from what they had been through.

Efforts were made to locate the vessel they had gone to sea in but it could not be located.

All three were brought back to Arklow Lifeboat station where they were handed over to the waiting National Ambulance Service for further assessment and treatment.

Following the incident, Michael Fitzgerald Arklow RNLI Mechanic, who was on scene at the breakwater following a call from a member of the public, said: 'Thankfully we were able to rescue these three casualties in time. If the call had not come in early as it did and had they not made the decision to wear their personal flotation devices like they did, we may well not have had as good an outcome from this call out.

'I’d like to say a special word of thanks to the three young girls who assisted with spotting the casualties in the water. The combined efforts of our community members and our crew gave us a positive outcome. We would encourage everybody who is now going out to sea following the lockdown to please be extra vigilant, always wear your lifejacket and always carry a means of calling for help.


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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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